Wine, Journal

Basque Cider: Culture, History & Deliciousness In A Glass

By Jon Elordi

Basque cider is a drink that is steeped in culture and history.

Originally from the Basque Country, a region in northern Spain and southern France. The history of this simple beverage stretches back hundreds of years.

Today, hard cider is enjoyed throughout the region and beyond.

What is Basque cider and where does it come from

Basque cider is a sweet and slightly effervescent drink made from fermented apples. It is traditional to the Basque Country, which stretches across northern Spain and southern France. This beverage has been a part of the region’s culture for hundreds of years, with production passed down through generations.

The origins of Basque hard cider date back to the Roman era. Over time, they developed local varieties of apples that were suited specifically to making cider. These apples were then pressed and fermented to create a unique and refreshing beverage.

Basque Ciders

The history of Basque cider

Basque cider houses have been an integral part of Basque region for centuries. The first documented cider house was established in 1325, in the village of Gaintza, and was owned by a Basque nobleman. Since then, Basque cider houses have become an important part of regional heritage and identity.

Basque cider houses have a unique history and set of traditions that are unlike any other. These traditions involve artfully-crafted ciders, delicious food, and lively social gatherings.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Basque cider houses is their unusual architecture. Most cider houses feature slate slabs on their roofs to help keep the building cool during hot summer months. This architecture is unique to Basque cider houses, and adds to the overall aesthetic of these cultural institutions.

Basque cider houses are also known for their vibrant social culture. Traditionally, Basque cider houses serve a wide variety of locally-grown foods as well as ciders made from traditional methods. Often, these meals are served in the company of friends and family, making them an integral part of community life.

If you’re looking for a lively social gathering that is rich in history and culture, a visit to a Basque cider house may be just what you need. Whether you prefer delicious food or refreshing ciders, a cider house is sure to delight!

How is Basque cider made

It is made in a unique and traditional way using local apple orchards. All ciders are apple based. First, the apples are selected for their flavor, texture and sweetness. Then, they are crushed and pressed to release their juice. The juice is then left to ferment naturally without added yeast or sugar, which creates a dry, tart cider with an alcohol content of around 5-6% making it a hard cider that’s similar to beer.

The process of producing cider it to too different than beer. It begins with harvesting and picking apples from local orchards. Once collected, they are washed and crushed to extract their juice. This juice is then filtered and gravity-fed into fermentation tanks where yeast is added to begin the process of turning the juice into alcohol. The yeast then eats the sugars in the apple juice, creating carbon dioxide that is captured and stored for later use in the fermentation tanks. Fermenting apples gives cider its signature tart taste and golden hue.

Once this process is complete, cider can be bottled for consumption or undergo a second fermentation process to increase its alcohol content before bottling. This second fermentation adds carbon dioxide, making the cider bubbly and effervescent.

Today, it can be found in restaurants and bars throughout the Basque Country, and is also exported to countries around the world.

Cider is made using apples from local apple orchards of the Basque region. For a typical bottle of commercial-quality Basque cider, thousands of apples are used! The best ciders use only organic apples grown without pesticides or chemicals.

The different types of Basque cider

There are several types of Basque ciders, with there two most common being natural and sparkling.

Natural cider is simply made by pressing ripe a apple, then filtering and pasteurizing the juice. It has a cloudy appearance and is slightly sweet with a light and tart flavor. On the other hand, sparkling cider is made when natural cider goes through a second fermentation process and carbonation is added. This results in a slightly bubbly ervescent drink with a dryer, stronger taste.

It remains one of the most popular and well-known drinks in Spain. It is traditionally served at family meals, festivals, as a part of street food, or paired with regional cuisine such as pintxos (small snacks) and bull stew.

Cider has not only been an essential drink to Basque culture, but also to its economy. The industry has grown immensely over the years, with Basque cider supplying almost 95% of all Spanish ciders.

Today, Basque Cider is enjoyed throughout Spain and beyond. And while it’s not nearly as popular as wine, many people enjoy it as a refreshing beverage on hot summer days, while others use it in cooking or baking.

How to drink Basque cider

Basque cider is most commonly enjoyed chilled and served directly from the bottle. It can also be poured into a fluted glass, allowing for a more subtle taste and aroma experience.

Before enjoying, be sure to swirl it around in the bottle or glass to release the carbon dioxide and enhance its flavor and aroma.

If you are looking for a unique way to experience Basque cider, try adding it to your cooking or baking. It can be used in savory dishes like soups and stews, as well as sweet baked goods like breads, cakes, and tarts. Its light flavor and acidity add just the right amount of tang to any dish and elevate it to the next level.

Basque cider is a timeless beverage enjoyed for centuries by people all over the world. So why not grab a bottle and give it a try today? Cheers!

Pairing food with Basque cider

Basque cider is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, from a light snack to a full feast. Whether you’re in the mood for savory tapas or sweet pastries, Basque cider can enhance your dining experience. Here are some tips to get you started on pairing food and Basque cider:

Start with a light and refreshing cider, such as a dry or medium-dry. These ciders have just the right amount of acidity to balance out rich flavors, making them perfect for pairing with any type of food.

For savory dishes, try drizzling some Basque cider over your favorite tapas like olives, cheese, or cured meats. Or pour it into a sauce to add depth and complexity to your main course.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, pair it with pastries like cream puffs or donuts. The sweetness of these desserts is perfectly complemented by the brightness and acidity of the cider, making for a decadent and indulgent pairing.

Buying and storing Basque cider

Buying Basque cider is relatively easy, as it can be found in most stores and online retailers. The best place to buy is from local specialty shops or farmers’ markets, where you can get a better selection of flavors and freshness than what’s available elsewhere.

However, if you don’t live close enough to one of these shops, you can easily purchase online.

When it comes to storing, the key is to keep it cold and sealed tightly. Ideally, the cider should be stored in a refrigerator or cellar that stays below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. This will help prevent the cider from going bad or losing flavor too quickly. You will also want to be sure to keep the bottle sealed tightly so that air doesn’t get inside and start to affect the flavor of the cider.

San Sebastian

Additional information about Basque cider

Basque cider is a traditional drink that has been enjoyed by the Basque people for centuries. The origins of this type of cider can be traced back to Roman times when farmers in the region began making it from local apple orchards. Today, it is made with a combination of apples and pears, which gives it a unique flavor.

Basque cider is a traditional drink that has been enjoyed by the Basque people for centuries.

To preserve the flavor and quality of Basque cider, store it in a cool, dark place and drink it within 6-8 weeks of purchase.

You can also pair food to enhance your dining experience. For example, try serving some cheese or meats along with your glass of cider for a truly authentic Basque meal.

By doing so, you will gain a deeper understanding of this iconic drink and its importance to Basque culture.